"I hesitate to use the word 'untouchable,' but he likes it here, he's comfortable here and he's pitching well," Luhnow said. "To have a guy who's capable of pitching late in the game, in close games, we're going to have opportunity going forward. This is a team that's improving, and as the team improves, you have more save opportunities, more opportunities to pitch at the end of close games. We need more Chad Qualls. We don't need less."
Cabrera is hitting .247/.308/.392 over 365 at-bats.
With the addition of Kendrys Morales on Thursday,
Morrison has started 31 games this season at first base, compared to only one start for Hart, who was sidelined for most of the season with a hamstring injury.
The team seems more likely to deal for an infielder, as they'll only accept clear upgrades in the bullpen. It's not known who the Nationals will target. The club is currently ahead of the Braves by one game in the NL East.
Trading Howard may be difficult. The 34-year-old is hitting just .224/.305/.377 over 371 at-bats, and is owed nearly $70 million on his current deal. The Phillies would likely have to eat a significant amount of money if Howard is dealt.